Friday, August 30, 2013

Bits and Pieces - August 30, 2013

An early book on Samurai training has been successfully deciphered. Sadly, most of the secret techniques were not explicitly discussed (hence the "secret") so we might never know how the best samurai managed to jump to the top of buildings and fly across tree-tops. Hey, I watched Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and loved it.

We could use some good samurai troops, too, I think. I like this essay by K.T. McFarland on Fox News concerning what the USA options are as a response for the chemical attacks in Syria. Mr. Obama faces some tough choices, and no doubt it will force the world to look at all of us in new ways once again.
I don't know why a chemical attack on citizens seems more horrible than the multiple military attacks the Syrian government already perpetrated on its citizens. Death is death, a horror wrought on humanity by those who are supposed to protect and guard the people.

Lee Hutchinson is on Day 3 of his Soylent experiment. (Just a note: it has almost no soy in it.) His discussion of the end of Day 1 had me cracking up, as he was attacked by "room-clearing, horse-killing, World War I mustard gas-type gas [where he]  migrated from room to room in the house like [he] was giving up territory to the Kaiser." The guy is funny. His analysis is good, too.

In yesterday's installment he referenced Shane Snow's two-week trial of Soylent on Tim Ferriss's blog. I read the entire thing, and was impressed with how thorough Shane was in his review. He didn't mention the gaseous attack problem, though.

I liked this slide show because it shows all those grainy pictures of mythical beasts. Bigfoot shows up a number of times, but I don't see a unicorn here. Yes, I still believe in unicorns…

So I'm overweight because I don't have enough of the right kind of bacteria in me, not because I eat too much! That makes me feel so much better!


I was disappointed in my version of Parallels a few months back. Perhaps I didn't give it enough credence. More likely, my machine just doesn't have the power to pull off operating two systems at once, since I'm having the same problem with VMWare.



James Spader will be Ultron in the "Avengers:Age of Ultron" movie opening May 1, 2015. I have no comment. Since Joss Whedon is at the helm I think they could get Danny Devito (or Ben Affleck) as Ultron and it would still be worth seeing. Ultron, with little doubt, was my favorite Avengers villain.

I admit it. I'm a sucker for Bluetooth headsets. I own a half-dozen that just didn't make me happy. When I saw that PC Magazine had a list of the ten best headsets, I had to take a look.
Well, I looked, but none impressed me as much as the stereo headset I own (LG HBS730) and wear almost every day. The white version (used by a coworker) is just as sweet as my black one.

PC Labs has a list of their top ten laptops. I'm still looking at it… I like the Asus because it is less than a thousand dollars, but has a dedicated graphics card. Still, I need to see what Apple™ announces on September 10th before I make any purchasing decision. It isn't that I'm an Apple™ fan (I am) but they do make exceptionally good hardware.
If you're still wondering whether you want a tablet or a laptop, they have an article on that, too.

I wonder if Edward Snow knows about this upcoming method to encrypt text messages? I'll bet the NSA is aware of it. Do you remember when we were kids and we didn't even know the word "encrypt?"

I just downloaded this time management app to my phone to give it a try. Hey, it's free so I can at least play with it to see if I like it. I'll let you know.

This one is fantastic! Play in a real sandbox and craft an environment then the entire thing gets scanned and converted to a computer landscape. I could see where game makers might want to take a look at this. Makes me want to create a sandcastle! What we need is a scanning system that will scan my relative's crazy-good model landscapes and create a virtual image of those!

A good 3D printer could create the models he uses in his landscapes, but how to get the model requirements to the printer? Finally, a 3D scanner to go with the 3D printing revolution! You know you want one. Eventually they'll make a scanner that will take a 2D image and convert it to a 3D printing model.

This app to use Virtual Imaging to put furniture in my house might be handy if I could use any furniture instead of only Ikea furniture, but it's a start. I expect we'll see something that does anyone's furniture in VR soon, but by then we'll simply be scanning and printing our own couches! (See above.)

Writers and app developers are always worried that someone will steal their idea. Let me tell you, the idea isn't the key thing, so stop worrying about it. For you app developers, someone will steal your idea! Just accept it. What isn't so cool is when someone actually steals the CODE!



You remember when you used to make those little flipbooks for stick animation? Finally someone stole my idea and made an app for that! Good job guys. Just send the check via PayPal. (Oh, wait, ideas are a dime a dozen - I've said so a thousand times!)

I'm not sure why I'd want an app that takes a photo and turns it into a thousand emoji images, but it is unique (until someone copies it).

For you app developers, here are some good user guidelines.
http://www.wired.com/design/2013/08/design-and-the-digital-world/

That's all for now, folks! Have a great holiday weekend!


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